Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unequal Justice: Purchased by cash.

Mea maxima culpa.... my most grievous fault is that I believe in the legal system, and believe in truth, justice, honour, and above all else in the Constitution.

The law is, and has always been, the greatest tool of tyrants, and understanding of the nature, and purpose of the law is a predicate for one's defense against the law.

But how may one assail the law, when it has grown too broad, and too deep to ford? How does one cross the river of the law, without being swept away?

Some would claim that lawyers help build a bridge over the waters of the law, but if true, how does this affect the people? Is the public defense attorney the same as the highest paid defense lawyer in the state? Is the one who works gratis the same as the one who claims multimillion dollar fees?

The law is an inflexible device, a tool that is designed to be straight and narrow, a path written by and in the conscience of society, not for the good of individuals, but for the good of society, as it was perceived by the lawmakers. The law does not bend, does not flex, does not recognize the power of mercy or grace, or justice. The law is the law, designed to restrain the follies of man.

It does not recognize rich nor poor in its construction, nor recognize any extenuating circumstance, neither does it recognize its own errors, nor its own faults.

It was designed to be levied against all men equally, without regard to station or monies, and that leveling is a grave thing indeed, fraught with its own consequences and burdens. Those burdens can be great, both financial, physical, and incarceratory.

Is this, however, what we now have? What we see in society today is a system of laws, lawyers, and courts that do not recognize the individual, only the almighty dollar. When a public attorney is paid the same, if a person goes through the lengthy trial and is innocent, as if he arranges a quick plea bargain, is it any wonder that the law's burden falls unequally upon the backs of those who cannot carry it?

The law is the law. It is too large, too bulky, a giant unable to see the nature of the one below its feet.

And we cannot write mercy into the law for the poor, for the station of the defendant is unable to be seen by the law.

For this reason, juries were created, courts created, in order to set right the actions and inactions of judges and jurors, of lawyers and plaintiffs, of even the defendant himself.

The role of the jury was to set even that law at naught, to hold it bound in the chains of society, saying that 'even so, the rule of law has had its due'. The rule of law, judged and tried by jury, could not be altered, save being reduced, the power of law restrained by the conscience of mankind.

Lawyers, by their nature, in general are in practice to make money. They work within a system that reinforces the moneymaking. Frivolous suits must be investigated as carefully as real suits, crimes created from whole cloth the same as true, and grievous crimes. Crimes created by writ, as well, are considered the same as those created by action.

If the lawyer is our guardian against legislative and judicial abuse, is it not the truth that the lawyer must also present an effective defense, argue the merits of the case, argue the facts of the case and the law of the case? Argue, and rebut the evidence of the case, to the maximum capability that he or she has?

Yet, the lawyers are immune to the results of their actions and inactions. No punishment can be levied against a lawyer for failure to provide a defense... and the public defenders who vigorously pursue a defense, in the nature foreseen by the Founding Fathers, are few and far between. It is a calling more important than any other, but laziness, lassitude, and greed has gotten in its way.

How many of the rich are ever held to task for their actions, while the poor, who may well be guilty of far lesser action, take a nigh infinitely larger measure of society's retribution? If the poor, and the rich, are equal in the eyes of the law, should not the poor be equal in proportion to the rich in prison, as they are in society?

If the lawyers of the rich are so much better, and also so much above the reach of the poor... where is the level in society?

If a young man, the son of a senator from Arizona, admits to 18 counts of 'brooming', or shoving a broom into the anus of children, is that not a grevous crime? How does it compare, however, to the person that is accused of fondling a child, with no evidence, no testimony, no witnesses? Is it fair, or just, that such a person, the son of a senator, gets a far lesser sentence than the person who may, arguably, be innocent, but was told that a plea bargain was his only hope?

Where is justice in this country? If justice is only for the rich, it can never be just. If the law becomes a tool for only the rich, then it has become just as tyrannical a master to the poor as any slave master.

And this is not the United States for which our forefathers fought.

1 comment:

JustaDadatHome said...

Not to mention those who claim to be Champions of Justice, and Defenders of Civil Rights... who stand silent amid all the judicial inequalities.